5 Reasons Why Facebook Rules the Social Media World

Why does Facebook rule the world of social media?5 Reasons Why Facebook Rules the Social Media World

To quote Mark Schaefer from an Ignite Social Media blog post, that I also participated in: “It’s not a social media platform. It’s a lifestyle. For millions of people, Facebook is the Internet. Making a choice to move away from Facebook is a lot different than changing your brand of breakfast cereal. The emotional switching costs are enormous. In fact, I could make an argument that it would be easier to change your house than change your social network.“

1. Facebook is the Biggest

Facebook has the most users of any social network at over 900 million (August 2012) and should hit 1 billion by the end of 2012.  This is unprecedented and makes it a very powerful global network.   Growth will continue, but will likely moderate over time.

Being the biggest means also means that most of your friends are already on Facebook so  moving to another social network means you will have to leave them behind.

2. Time Spent on Facebook

In the US, people spend 6:33 hours per month on Facebook.  Tumblr comes in second at 1:38 and Pinterest at 1:17 hours per month, but only has a little over 11% of Facebook’s worldwide user count.  Much of that time spent on Facebook is not just passively consuming content, but also sharing and re-sharing it too.  You can share words, link, images, and videos that you find online or upload.  You can share others posts on your profile, pages, and groups.  A single piece of content can be re-shared many times by each user.

3. Everything Feeds Into Facebook

Most everything else you use in social media can feed into your Facebook account.  Instagram photos, Pinterest pins, and Foursquare check-ins, just to name a few.  You can also configure Twitter to also post to your Facebook timeline every time you tweet for an extra exposure kick.

 4. People Get Emotional About Facebook

Folks have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.  They use it all day, every day it seems.  And they get cranked up if they roll out a new feature or change.  But they always seem to get over it and come back stronger than ever.  The high level of emotion that Facebook instills in its users keeps them engaged.

 5. Photo Sharing is the Big Deal in 2012

Posting photos, Liking, commenting, and re-sharing them seems to be the most popular activity of the most popular people.  You know who is popular because their photos and shares show up in your feed the most and vice versa.  With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, photo sharing is bound to grow.  Competition from Pinterest with its popularity is bound to keep Facebook on their toes.  See “The Facts and Figures about the Power of Visual Content” for more detail.

Some Tips

So you have your blog, Twitter account, Pinterest, Instagram, and the rest.  Remember to link and feed all of them into Facebook.  Share your content and others often.  Until something else comes along that changes the paradigm again, Facebook should continue to grow and thrive in the world of social media.

Do you think Facebook will continue to dominate?  Why or why not?

Guest Author: Peter Trapasso who is a social media consultant and founder of VinoPete.com and a self taught wine expert (and foodie) and blogs about those passions at VinoPete.com. He is also one of the 250 most followed people on Twitter in San Francisco and a +K Klout Influencer.  


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Image by Big Stock Photo



  • @jerry302mai

    Great blog post I must say

  • http://twitter.com/jacobpad Jacob Padgett

    I agree with you, but I hate social media.
    Friendship, for most, isn’t a very intentional part of our lives; however, it’s a very important part and can be quite productive.

    “Social Media- I may never have to see you or speak to you, but you can be my friend.”
    One of the biggest problems of our century, is loneliness and low self esteem.
    A true friend is a multiplier. An Appreciator. Loyal. Trusting. Loving. Accepting. Caring. Not one click away from being unfriended.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Amber King

    Great article Jeff. Facebook has indeed grown in the past few years. More and more people are joining everyday. Although I like using Facebook, I still opt for Linkedin for business networking.

    • http://twitter.com/petertrapasso Peter Trapasso

      LinkedIn for business, FB for fun/entertainment. Sounds good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dougwo Doug Wolfgram

    I think it is temporary. Facebook will soon have niche competition where businesses can create more effective, smaller business networks. Facebook may continue to compete, but they’ll to make some adjustments.

  • http://twitter.com/bmw_free Don

    I think you are right – but there are many more reasons that you did not list. Next time list the top 25 reasons… :-)

  • Mike Clark

    Do you think
    Facebook will continue to dominate? Why or why not?

    I believe that it will dwindle in
    popularity and end up much like MySpace if there are not substantial changes as
    time passes. “Innovations” like Timeline are not going to be the savior for
    this entity; it takes real and constant change to remain relevant. I do not
    believe that support for these changes is something in Facebook’s future. Therein lays the problem with any
    social trend or platform. Persons are resistant to change and do not embrace
    major changes to their familiar social environments.

    Without popular
    support for innovation and change, the risk of Facebook’s platform becoming insignificant
    or outdated is quite real. Competitors will surface
    presenting new options and uses that surpass that of Facebook. This is not to
    say Facebook will cease to make attempts to change with the times, but the
    inevitability of it being leapfrogged by a yet unknown is my prediction. Even
    with the needed progression of change, it will become yesterday’s news and the equivalent
    of having an AOL e-mail address.

    All social trends become tiresome
    and abandoned in time. The yo-yo, hula hoop, car hop service, and many other social
    trends have faded into obscurity. If one questioned the long-term viability of
    roller skating car hop service in 1955, a vast majority would not have
    predicted their demise.

    I believe that
    regardless of technical advances, the public will find something newer and
    shinier to embrace.

    Every ubiquitously popular trend
    has the same outcome over time. Facebook will need to find a way to keep up
    with competitors while not alienating its users. The very people that love Facebook
    will be the ones that cause its demise, in time.

  • http://www.adigaskell.org/blog Adi

    And yet there are massive concerns over their future wellbeing. They have shareholders to please now. Most of their users are accessing the site via mobiles, which carry fewer ads than the main site, and mobile users don’t click anywhere near as much, so they earn Facebook less money, which then makes shareholders nervy (note their share price is 50% lower than the post IPO price).

    How they overcome that will determine how successful they’ll be in the long term. We saw with MySpace that if people are that annoyed then they’ll happily move social networks to something better.

    • http://twitter.com/petertrapasso Peter Trapasso

      Thanks Adi! Good points.

  • jimdougherty

    Pete, really appreciate your emphasis on photo sharing and Facebook’s focus on it. A very strong point! Great rundown of Facebook’s advantages – with all of the negative press around Facebook, it’s nice to read someone step back from the fray and explain why people are endeared to the platform. Cheers!

    • http://twitter.com/petertrapasso Peter Trapasso

      Thank you very much Jim!

  • Ian

    I left Facebook about 6 months ago, I had been using it since very shortly after it was released, I found leaving it very easy. There was no emotional cost, I was glad to get out of it and have not in any way been tempted to return. I think you are casting your net rather wide with the universal sweep of your semantics. The world is made up of individuals and a large population of people should not be considered as homogenous.
    “Folks have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.” – All folks or just some folks or many folks – how many folks? Where is the evidence for this?”They use it all day, every day it seems.” This does not align with your other statement: “In the US, people spend 6:33 hours per month on Facebook. ” All day every day would be 360 hours or more per month depending on how you define all day. 6.33 hours/month is about 13 mins a day although I suspect that this may be like TV viewing stats where people often underestimate engagement.
    “And they get cranked up if they roll out a new feature or change. But they seem to get over it and come back stronger than ever.” What all of them – no one ever leaves?
    “The high level of emotion that Facebook instills in its users keeps them engaged.” My high level of emotion was a high level of frustration with the system and it lead to me leaving.
    A quick straw poll of friends and colleagues shows:Some use FB for work only, some for friends and family only, some for both.Some use it every day, most once or twice a week, some once or twice a month, some tried it and left after a few weeks.Most have, or have had, some grievance with security or new features. Some left because of change some don’t care about change.Even a small informal survey shows a large variety in behaviours and attitudes.

  • http://profiles.google.com/trappermark Mark Traphagen

    NEWS FLASH!!! Facebook is the largest and most popular social network! Why wasn’t this all over the TV news last night?

    Seriously, what is there here that is useful or actionable? This is a little
    Ike writing a blog post titled “5 Reasons Why Humans Should Live on Earth.”

  • Steven

    Soon as I read the title “Why does facebook rule the social media world?” I thought to myself “it’s a lifestyle” and then noticed you had written that. Great minds think alike or idiots seldom differ? 😉

    We have a similar discussion going on over on http://www.seoinfobox.com if you’d be interested to comment.

  • http://twitter.com/Gazalla Gazalla Gaya

    I know that it’s important to use Facebook and you’ve done an awesome job explaining why. I still like to use Facebook more as my personal network and tend to use Twitter, LinkedIn etc. for business. I agree that people tend to spend the most time on Facebook and also get more emotional about Facebook..

    • http://twitter.com/petertrapasso Peter Trapasso

      Than You Gazalla!

  • http://www.giraffescanswim.com/ Giraffes Can Swim

    I still think there is space to do things better than Facebook, especially now that they have investor pressure. The mobile thing is key, if someone can crack mobile quicker and better than Facebook, they’ll have a chance of taking that crown.

  • Al Muth

    All spot on. The sheer number of users is staggering all by itself.

  • ozio media

    Recent comparisons between the growth of the
    internet and the rise of Facebook in the past ten years indicate that it has
    been a huge part of why so many people are online now. It does seem as though
    Facebook still needs to find the right advertising models if it is going to
    fulfill the expectations of its shareholders. It will be interesting to see how
    becoming a public company affects the essential nature of Facebook in the

  • Murali Ravikanti

    Great post Jeff. Past few years Face Book has grown a great height. social media is a portable usability that every one from any place can be accessed. Specially using of Face Book became a lifestyle now a days. Photo sharing is one of the biggest hit of Face Book usage.

  • http://www.i-want-to-know-marketing.com Paul Profitt

    I don’t get Facebook, I don’t like Facebook. Give me Twitter,G+,YouTube or Linkedin any day of the week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwbuse Devon Buse

    Facebook will dominate if they go fully mobile… there are 3rd party systems that you can build apps around Facebook to get features from tabs onto your mobile phone. Being an iframe it’s a pain. Hopefully they will find out a better work around and implement.